100 books like The Missing Diplomats

By Cyril Connolly,

Here are 100 books that The Missing Diplomats fans have personally recommended if you like The Missing Diplomats. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Guy Burgess: A Portrait With Background

Andrew Lownie Author Of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

From my list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring).

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Lownie is a former journalist for The London Times, the British representative for the Washington-based National Intelligence Centre, and he helped set up the Spy Museum in Washington. His books include biographies of the writer John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize), Dickie & Edwina Mountbatten (a top ten Sunday Times bestseller) and a forthcoming book on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Andrew's book list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring)

Andrew Lownie Why did Andrew love this book?

The journalist  and Labour politician Tom Driberg had known Guy Burgess in London. After Burgess appeared publicly at a press conference in February 1956 five years after his flight to Russia, Driberg approached him asking to write his authorised life and Burgess agreed. In the absence of a memoir, this biography, based on a series of interviews, is our nearest insight into the spy’s mind set tracing his alienation from the Establishment from his school days at Eton, his politicisation at Cambridge University, concerns about McCarthyism whilst in Washington to the escape to Russia.

By Tom Driberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guy Burgess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of A Chapter of Accidents

Andrew Lownie Author Of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

From my list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring).

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Lownie is a former journalist for The London Times, the British representative for the Washington-based National Intelligence Centre, and he helped set up the Spy Museum in Washington. His books include biographies of the writer John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize), Dickie & Edwina Mountbatten (a top ten Sunday Times bestseller) and a forthcoming book on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Andrew's book list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring)

Andrew Lownie Why did Andrew love this book?

The writer and academic, Goronwy Rees, was one of Burgess’s closest friends and this volume of memoir best conveys Burgess’s character and charm. The two men saw much of each other during the 1930s, and Rees was one of Burgess’s first recruits, but the relationship foundered when Rees decided during the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939 to stop spying and threatened to betray his friend. After Burgess surfaced in Moscow, Rees penned a series of sensational articles about Burgess’s dissolute private life, probably as a damage limitation exercise, which backfired and led him to losing his academic post but he soon was to have his revenge.

Book cover of The Climate of Treason: Five who Spied for Russia

Andrew Lownie Author Of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

From my list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring).

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Lownie is a former journalist for The London Times, the British representative for the Washington-based National Intelligence Centre, and he helped set up the Spy Museum in Washington. His books include biographies of the writer John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize), Dickie & Edwina Mountbatten (a top ten Sunday Times bestseller) and a forthcoming book on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Andrew's book list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring)

Andrew Lownie Why did Andrew love this book?

A landmark espionage book about the Cambridge Spies, which has stood up surprisingly well though published almost forty years ago and before the release of Russian and British archives, and first  made me  interested in ‘The Climate of Treason’.  It not only gives the historical background to their recruitment during the 1930s but, drawing on a deathbed confession from Goronwy Rees, named two new spies ‘Maurice’ and ‘Basil’. After leaks to the satirical magazine Private Eye , Margaret Thatcher confirmed that ‘Maurice’ was the Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures  Sir Anthony Blunt who had been granted immunity sixteen years earlier. ‘Basil’ was identified as an atomic scientist, serving in the Washington Embassy alongside Kim Philby and Guy Burgess, called Wilfrid Mann. Mann fended off the accusations at the time and the story died but subsequent research for my book has proved Mann was a spy.

By Andrew Boyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Climate of Treason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Kim Philby: A story of friendship and betrayal

Andrew Lownie Author Of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

From my list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring).

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Lownie is a former journalist for The London Times, the British representative for the Washington-based National Intelligence Centre, and he helped set up the Spy Museum in Washington. His books include biographies of the writer John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize), Dickie & Edwina Mountbatten (a top ten Sunday Times bestseller) and a forthcoming book on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Andrew's book list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring)

Andrew Lownie Why did Andrew love this book?

Kim Philby’s most personal betrayal was not of Nicholas Elliott, as suggested in Ben McIntyre’s A Spy Among Friends , but his school friend and another MI6 colleague Tim Milne , the nephew of Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne, whom he falsely accused of being a spy in order to deflect attention from himself. Milne’s memoirs were finally permitted to be published four years after his death and provide a fascinating and fresh glimpse into both Philby and Burgess especially Milne’s teenage European travels with Philby and his August 1948 visit to Philby in Turkey where he remembered fellow guest Burgess ‘lolling in a window seat, dirty, unshaven, wearing nothing but an inadequately fastened dressing-gown”, singing on jeep rides into the countryside and  diving into the Bosphorus from a second floor balcony.

By Tim Milne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kim Philby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Foreword by Phillip Knightley Kim Philby, the so-called Third Man in the Cambridge spy ring, was the Cold War's most infamous traitor. A Soviet spy at the heart of British intelligence, at one point heading up the section tasked with rooting out Russian spies within MI6, he betrayed hundreds of British and US agents to the Russians and compromised numerous operations inside the Soviet Union. Ian Innes 'Tim' Milne was Phiby's closest and oldest friend. They studied at Westminster School together and when Philby joined MI6 he immediately recruited Milne as his deputy. Philby's treachery was a huge blow to…


Book cover of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

Helen Fry Author Of The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II

From my list on deception in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Helen is an ambassador for the Museum of Military Intelligence, a trustee of the Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum, and a trustee of the Medmenham Collection. Her latest book Spymaster: The Man Who Saved MI6 about one of the greatest spies of the 20th century, was a Daily Mail best biography for 2021. Her history of MI9—the first such history for over 40 years—was shortlisted for The Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History. 

Helen's book list on deception in WW2

Helen Fry Why did Helen love this book?

This biography of Guy Burgess has been selected because of the sheer impressive material which Lownie brings together as a result of 20 years of research. He has provided an illuminated and extensively researched biography that does not shy from laying out the full extent of Burgess’s deception and hedonistic behaviour, as well as the real risks he posed to Western intelligence services and State Secrets. The publicly educated and privileged Cambridge Five, who betrayed their country for ideological motives, arrogantly believed that they had the right to pass Western secrets to Russia. In spite of the brutality of the Stalinist regime, they believed in the communist cause and deceived everyone around them in Britain—their work colleagues, families, and friends. That deception ran dangerously into the Cold War and led finally to the defection of Burgess and his friend Donald Maclean to Moscow in 1951. Their defection caused huge ramifications…

By Andrew Lownie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stalin's Englishman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the St Ermin's Intelligence Book of the Year Award.

'One of the great biographies of 2015.' The Times

Fully updated edition including recently released information.

A Guardian Book of the Year. The Times Best Biography of the Year. Mail on Sunday Biography of the Year. Daily Mail Biography of Year. Spectator Book of the Year. BBC History Book of the Year.

'A remarkable and definitive portrait ' Frederick Forsyth

'Andrew Lownie's biography of Guy Burgess, Stalin's Englishman ... shrewd, thorough, revelatory.' William Boyd

'In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well…


Book cover of The Man Between

Ephraim Author Of Requiem for Betrayal

From my list on international spy thrillers with cultural differences.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the early 70s I was a pop singer/recording artist in Paris with a dinner show at a restaurant/discotheque/bar called Jacky’s Far West Saloon. Located in the trendy Montparnasse area, it was popular with the US embassy personnel. As such, it was also a magnet for spooks looking to score contacts with the Americans. I witnessed a lot of intrigue there, some of it major, most of it minor, and developed a passion for international espionage. I also developed a passion for international finance and went on to author or co-author ten books and over a hundred journal articles on the subject.  

Ephraim's book list on international spy thrillers with cultural differences

Ephraim Why did Ephraim love this book?

The reason I recommend this book is because it is so different from most spy thrillers.

The hero,  Kit Carradine, is not a spy. He is a writer living a boring life in London. His father was a spy, however. He gets recruited to do a small job for the Service. When he agrees, his life is changed. Kit is different from the Jack Reachers and Ryans.

He is a professionally naive, and often in over his head, which provides readers a fresh and accessible vantage to the typical genre tropes.

By Charles Cumming,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Man Between as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Recommended. I read it one breathless sitting' Ian Rankin

A gripping new standalone spy thriller, recalling the classic film Casablanca, from the winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year and 'the master of the modern spy thriller' (Mail on Sunday).

A SIMPLE TASK
Successful novelist Kit Carradine has grown restless. So when British Intelligence invites him to enter the secret world of espionage, he willingly takes a leap into the unknown.

A GLOBAL THREAT
Kit finds himself in Morocco on the trail of Lara Bartok - a leading figure in Resurrection, a revolutionary…


Book cover of The Ring of Five Dragons

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From my list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding.

Why am I passionate about this?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding

Ronald A. Geobey Why did Ronald love this book?

I discovered the Pearl Saga (a trilogy) via Van Lustbader taking up the reins on Robert Ludlum’s Bourne novels. While I was reading these books, I was waiting to hear from Voyager (Harper Collins) regarding an epic fantasy novel I wrote, which featured in its climactic scenes a girl using crystals to trap a dragon in a cage-like device inside a mountain. There was a delay in the publication of the third book of the Pearl Saga, and when it came out, it featured a girl holding a ‘crystal’ before a dragon, and it was called The Cage of Nine Banestones. My heart sank, but it turned out that the delay was related to the death of Van Lustbader’s father.

The trilogy begun in ‘Ring’ is for some brooding and self-indulgent, but for me it was a triumph of worldbuilding and alien realia, with technology and sorcery vying…

By Eric Van Lustbader,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ring of Five Dragons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The opening volume in a huge epic fantasy in the tradition of Frank Herbert's DUNE series.

Struggling to survive an existence of enforced slavery on their home planet, the people of Kundala are slowly dying. Their oppressors, the V'ornn, a technologically advanced, alien race, have reigned over the Kundalans with unyielding power for more than one hundred years.

Only through the power of the lost, god-given Pearl can the Kundalans be saved from extinction, for within it lies a secret so potent it could tear the entire planet apart.

However, only one man is destined to find and wield the…


Book cover of Ethnic America: A History

Jonathan Rothwell Author Of A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society

From my list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Inequality and fairness are basic issues in human conflict and cooperation that have long fascinated me. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, I was confronted with the extreme racial segregation of schools and neighborhoods. My Catholic upbringing taught me to cherish the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance, and my education in political economy taught me that markets can fairly and efficiently allocate resources, when legal power is evenly shared. My formal education culminated in a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, which led me to my current roles: Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Principal Economist at Gallup. I care deeply about the social conditions that create cooperation and conflict.

Jonathan's book list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer

Jonathan Rothwell Why did Jonathan love this book?

Sowell doesn’t let political sensitivities stop him from asking and answering the basic questions that most people have about inequality between ethnic groups in the United States and around the world.

He has little sympathy for conventional left-wing theories, but he does show respect for each group of people, celebrating achievements and pointing out barriers to opportunity. The book is rich with insight and intelligent commentary. His faith in the dignity of common people—including his readersshines through.

By Thomas Sowell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ethnic America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic work by the distinguished economist traces the history of nine American ethnic groups,the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans.


Book cover of The Moneychangers

Radhika R Author Of A Canopy of Carnations: A Collection Of Heart Touching Short Stories

From my list on tug at your heart and haunt you for days.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read books of various genres but the dominating theme has always been stories that haunted me and remained in my memory like a movie song lyric. These books are ones that made me feel the story as if the characters lived next door and were well known to me. The nostalgic feel and unexpressed emotions of women, when brought out in the form of stories keep my mind occupied and impacted my life changes too. As a teacher, meeting students of various ages, I am able to subtly identify the feelings that cross children and understand the emotions that dominate their parents and their lives in a family. 

Radhika's book list on tug at your heart and haunt you for days

Radhika R Why did Radhika love this book?

The adrenaline rush I got from this novel, I cannot express by words. I detested banking and related stories until I read this novel. The book gave me a totally different view of banking and the politics involved. I was impressed by the character of the single mom Juanita Nunez and her unique ability to calculate like a machine as she had a photographic memory.

By Arthur Hailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Moneychangers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 bestselling author of the blockbuster thrillers Airport and Hotel takes on the world of high finance: “Cliched, lurid and utterly absorbing” (Philip Hensher, The Guardian).

Ben Roselli, president of First Mercantile American Bank and grandson of the founder, makes the shocking announcement that he’s dying. With no offspring to inherit the company, Roselli knows that executive VPs Roscoe Heyward and Alex Vandervoort are the obvious candidates to succeed him. Heyward, who has been with First Mercantile for two decades, will do whatever it takes to bring in new clients and win the coveted presidency. Vandervoort, a newcomer from…


Book cover of Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman

Jon Lewis Author Of Road Trip to Nowhere: Hollywood Encounters the Counterculture

From my list on 1960s Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been teaching and writing about post-WWII American film for over thirty years now, with a particular passion for (behind the scenes) Hollywood history. Road Trip to Nowhere follows up on a new sort of movie industry history I introduced in my 2017 book on 1950s Los Angeles, Hard-Boiled Hollywood. Both books focus on actors, writers, producers, and directors who don’t quite make it—aspirants and would-be players kicked to the side of the road, so to speak, and others who for reasons we may or may not understand just walked away from the modern American dream life of stardom and celebrity. 

Jon's book list on 1960s Hollywood

Jon Lewis Why did Jon love this book?

Unique among those in Hollywood who dove head first into the American counterculture, Jane Fonda proved too committed to dismiss as a dilettante, too persistent to just fade away, too formidable for the FBI to destroy. Bosworth, a veteran Hollywood biographer (she has written books on Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando as well) uniquely understands political celebrity; she’s never dismissive, but she’s not so easy on her subject either. Because she knows better: Bosworth’s father was the Hollywood 10 attorney Bart Crum. Bosworth surely understands the risks involved in Left-wing celebrity.

By Patricia Bosworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane Fonda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As actress, activist, businesswoman, wife, and mother, Jane Fonda has pushed herself to the limit, attempting to please all, excel in every arena, be everything. We've read her version of her controversial life, yet nothing can prepare us for this genuinely revelatory account of Jane's engrossing, sometimes shocking journey. Supplemented by the psychiatric records of her suicidal, bipolar mother, Fonda's FBI file, and interviews with her intimates, this perceptive portrait strips away hype and the subject's own mythmaking. Patricia Bosworth shows us what a toll Jane's quest to excel (and please her demanding father, Henry) exacted and sheds light on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Guy Burgess, espionage, and spies?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Guy Burgess, espionage, and spies.

Guy Burgess Explore 6 books about Guy Burgess
Espionage Explore 551 books about espionage
Spies Explore 578 books about spies